Evolution and success of holmium laser enucleation of the prostate

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Aims: The purpose of this article is to review the development of instruments, current technique, and expected outcomes for holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP). Materials and Methods: A review of published, peer-reviewed articles focusing on HoLEP was performed using the MEDLINE database. Results: Historically, the gold-standard management for symptomatic obstructing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) has been transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). With the development of new laser technology minimally invasive surgical procedures have been introduced in an attempt to decrease the morbidity experienced with standard TURP. Laser treatment of BPH has evolved from coagulation to complete adenoma enucleation. The holmium laser was initially utilized for prostate ablation and soon evolved into holmium laser tissue resection, but was limited by difficulties with extracting the prostate tissue from the bladder. With the development of a compatible tissue morcellator whole prostate lobes could be enucleated similar to an open prostate enucleation and the HoLEP procedure was developed. Currently HoLEP is the only procedure to demonstrate superior outcomes to TURP on urodynamic studies and long-term studies demonstrate its durability up to 7 years post procedure. Changes in enucleation technique have also increased the efficiency of the HoLEP procedure, such that any sized prostate can be treated. Conclusions: HoLEP is a safe and effective surgical treatment for symptomatic BPH, dependent on a high powered laser and morcellation system. The procedure continues to gain acceptance due to excellent short and long-term results, its wide application, and further simplification of technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-409
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • holmium laser
  • prostate enucleation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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